The Houston Dynamo have announced the signing of 18-year old attacking midfielder Christian Lucatero. The former Academy player will sign under a Homegrown deal and will be eligible to play in January of 2016 (though he is able to continue training with the team until then).
The Pasadena native had spent five years in the Dynamo Academy system and rose to become one of the prominent developmental players in the country. His notable talent has invited competition between the United States and Mexico youth national teams with Lucatero delaying a decision on which senior side he selects.
The midfielder has been hailed as one of the most exciting prospects in the nation, including being recognized as the U-17/18s Player of the Year (Central Region) by the US Soccer Development Academy this past season.
Most recently, Lucatero had committed to Oregon State University as the Dynamo neglected to sign him during the offseason period. However, with renewed interest from international teams and the incoming Rio Grande Valley FC next season, Houston has found a place to further develop Lucatero and keep him a short plane trip away from the senior team.
Since 2012, Lucatero has tallied 57 goals in the Dynamo Academy, an astonishing total. Since the wrap on Dynamo Academy, Lucatero has been playing with the USMNT U-18 team, getting limited minutes as recently as a July 13th tournament match against the Czech Republic.
Lucatero was recently profiled by Jason Davis, where the midfielder discussed the playing styles he admires most. Among Real Madrid's Isco and Chelsea's Eden Hazard was the Houston Dynamo's very own, Boniek Garcia.
This is probably biggest news for the new Dynamo affiliate club, Rio Grande Valley FC, which begins play next season in USL. Combining the Academy products of Lucatero and Memo Rodriguez creates a young, exciting midfield duo that has a promising trajectory. If all goes according to plan, the Houston Dynamo will be able to bring in two visionary attacking midfielders to the senior team in the coming years, without having to resort to an inflated transfer market.
Check out these video highlights of Lucatero below (don't miss that free kick!):